Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Another Baby?

When I was pregnant with Lil Ma, I often walked to a local diner for salted caramel milkshakes. During one of my trips, I ran into a man who I'd seen from time to time in my office building.

"Wow! You're just like my parents," he said.

"Excuse me?" I asked.

"You're having babies like stair steps, one right after the other."

"What?" My neck started to roll.

He gulped. "Don't you have three or four kids?"

"No." My eyes narrowed.

I wanted to throw my shake at him, but that would have been a waste of a perfectly good beverage.

When Lil Ma's was born, Hubby was out of town for work. My mom, who can no longer drive, had to hitch a ride with a friend. Until it was time to push, I watched TV and read magazines. (Epidurals are wonderful!) Mom held my hand while her friend gave Hubby the play by play via phone. It took less than five minutes.

"I've never seen a birth go so smoothly," her friend said. "You could probably do this again. Don't you want to try for a boy?"

I had to stop myself from cursing.

If I had a dollar for every conversation like these that I've had, I could buy Bentley.

The decision to have a baby is deeply personal, and only the parties involved know the factors that weigh in to the final decision. When you ask someone about family planning, you could be hitting a nerve.

I doubt that most people mean to be intrusive. I think they get swept up in the excitement that baby talk can bring. Before I had kids, I was guilty of that. And if you are reading this, please accept my apology.

The questions died down for a while, but now that Lil Ma is a year old, they're starting to pick up again. I want to address the queries gracefully, so I've refined my response:

If the girls wanted another little brother or sister, they would have brought one with them.

What do you say when asked about having kids?

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